Harry Styles “shading” Zayn Malik on SNL is not that serious

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On Nov. 16, Harry Styles did double duty on Saturday Night Live (SNL) being both the host and musical guest on the late-night comedy sketch show.

During his opening monologue, Harry made jokes about him being a musician, not a comedian and also being in a boy band (or as he calls it “a man band”).

He made jokes about his One Direction bandmates being there that night, which they were not — but wouldn’t it be crazy if they were?  — well, they weren’t.

But then when it got to the part where Styles was listing off his band mates, he did it in a manner that some Directioners found questionable.

Styles, while pretending to play the piano to send some love to his fellow bandmates, said  “I love those guys, they’re my brothers. Niall, Liam, Louis and uh… Ringo.”

After that comment, Twitter went insane saying that Harry was shading Zayn or “doing him dirty,” but some other fans were quick to clear up some things regarding the joke. Ringo was a former member of The Beatles and was the first one to leave the band, which is a similarity Ringo and Zayn have.

Ringo had temporarily left The Beatles in 1968, whereas Zayn had left One Direction in 2014. That’s literally the entire joke.

A lot of news publications have decided to talk about this story and say that this comment is a direct reflection on the band’s relationship status and how the four have turned against Zayn completely.

But let’s be rational here, Saturday Night Live is a satirical show – meaning that they are constantly making jokes to get a rise out of their audience. And while I don’t always like the jokes they make, like when Pete Davidson talked about switching out Ariana Grande’s birth control pills with Tic Tacs, they are just supposed to be jokes.

And we should not forget the fact that Zayn was the first one who first distanced himself from his fellow bandmates after leaving the band. During an interview with Zane Lowe in 2016, Zayn said that he had always wanted to leave One Direction.

Then again in 2017, Zayn sat down with Us Weekly and said that Harry and him never really talked when Zayn was in the band, which few fans believe as there are photos and videos of them talking and being out in public together all the time. I think that the comment Harry made regarding Zayn leaving the band was fine. Sure, some people might not like the joke or see it as shading Zayn, but it was his job to keep the audience entertained that night.

Some of the older people who watched SNL might understand what the joke meant without even really knowing who the members of One Direction are, and if they got a rise out of it, then Styles did his job well. The joke was not made as an attempt to belittle Zayn or any of his accomplishments during or after being a member of the band.

The joke was simply made as a way to get a laugh from the audience.

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